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patryk-czekaj

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162 reviews in total 
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Pervertigo (2012)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Dark humor and clever plot combine for superb entertainment, 11 November 2012
8/10

Nowadays, it's hard to find a really amusing and – at the same time – devilishly clever comedy that is as positively ridiculous as it is suspenseful. Pervertigo proves to be sort of a fresh eye- opener, in the sense that it unhesitatingly ponders sex and deviations in the most expressive manner, and shows the audiences that the infamous Peeping Tom routine can actually be attributed to each and every one of us. After all, people find great pleasure in watching others from a safe place somewhere in the distance, don't they?

Lloyd – the protagonist of the film – exemplifies the 'bored' generation. He doesn't have any ambitions or certain goals in his life. Living in a peculiarly quiet and peaceful town, he spends every day working at a small shop, which specializes in repairing electronic devices. However, under cover of darkness he shows his true nature – 'almost' like James Stewart in Rear Window Lloyd grabs his precious binoculars and snoops on (mostly naked) women living across the street. Unfortunately, his perverted presence is detected. After a few strong insults and comparatively heavy punches Lloyd is forced to move out. For an overt deviant without any previous living references finding a new home isn't that easy. And still, when Lloyd finally moves into a narrow yet cozy apartment, his neighbor gives him an offer he (rather) can't refuse – big money for spying on a disloyal wife. This awkward yet seemingly innocent proposition is the cause for Lloyd's gradual plunge into the depths of sick and twisted madness. His growing affection for the woman turns out to be a quick way towards total chaos. One problem creates another one, and soon the broke and distressed Lloyd finds himself on a path with no return.

Blending what's best in Tarantino and Rodriguez's dark humor, Pervertigo gives a credible amount of unforeseen and entertaining twists. The film only confirms that first impressions can be greatly misleading. Many people, perfectly normal on the outside, are capable of doing very sick and awful things. After a while it becomes clear that Lloyd – even given his affection towards peeping at other people's intimate moments – is actually the most ordinary and the most innocent guy in the crowd of many twisted and insane characters that the viewers see on screen. Here we have a lonely nerd who loves cosplaying and irritating others around him; a killer, whose only weakness is Doo-woop music; a long-legged, beautiful blonde who loves to play perverted games; a repair-shop boss who is only interested in abusing others and picking up women; and finally, a mysterious and strange neighbor who loves eating snow cones every day.

Pervertigo not only makes one laugh, but also makes one think. Think about the omnipresence of perversity in the contemporary world, and the way this picture corresponds to people's most hidden and demoralizing needs. What's more, this satisfying crime-comedy plays a game with the idea of cinema in general – after all, it's safe to say that watching films is a lot like watching others, just without the risk of being caught.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
When the Christmas tree is up watch this film with your family, 9 November 2012
7/10

A lighthearted, joyful comedy that gives the new, superbly comedic, meaning to a traditional Christmas party. Very amusing and hearty, Christmas in Connecticut presents a wonderfully cheerful love story with many slapstick elements.

When a war hero Jefferson Jones comes back home and wants to spend the Holidays in a nice, homely atmosphere, fate sends him to the doorstep of a well-known food critic Elisabeth Lane. Unfortunately for her, she has lied for a long time to her readers about having a loving family and a house in the countryside.And now is the time for a perfect set-up. With the help of a few friends she arranges a drastically improvised make-believe ceremony.

As one can imagine, from the beginning nothing seems to go as planned and after a few laughable moments everything goes amusingly berserk. Love takes over, and Elisabeth - despite having a still unwed, fake husband - falls in love with her handsome guest. The whole mystification goes out of control and the Christmas in ruined for the amusement of some, and for the disgust of others.

With an enchanting feel and many hilarious sequences, Christmas in Connecticut is a screwball comedy that will definitely appeal to most viewers, more so during the annual family gatherings.

Oldboy (2003)
1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A smashing movie that will leave you dazzled, 9 November 2012
8/10

Being a gripping, thrilling and harrowing tale of revenge, Oldboy attacks the audience with its unsettling atmosphere and graphic scenes of brutality. From the very first minutes the film successfully grasps one's attention and doesn't stop to astound until the final, shocking moments. It's an intriguing, mysterious, and bloody seductive movie, which presents a story so gruesome and unforgiving that it's almost unbearable to watch.

When Oh Dae-su is imprisoned for 15 years for unknown reasons and eventually gets out, he has only two questions in mind: why and who? While trying to capture his oppressors he wants to uncover the real purpose behind this outrageous event that ruined his life for good. With the help of a lovely young girl, he succumbs to the lone warrior's way and finds out more about himself and his life than he intended to.

In the film the revenge goes both ways, and as soon as we discover what the whole story is about we won't be able to forget how powerful and, at the same time, discomforting the film really is.

Chan Wook Park did an amazing job directing the film, but probably his greatest decision was casting the superb Min-sik Choi in the titular role. His frighteningly beastly attitude serves everyone right, as he defeats his enemy with cold blood and uncovers all the clues one after another, only to arrive at a conclusion that has much to do with a forgotten past. Great entertainment, not for the squeamish.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Cloud Atlas set the bar far too high, 9 November 2012
7/10

A mind-numbing, philosophically-challenging movie that wants to achieve too much with its complex, erratic plot-line. Intertwining five different stories, Cloud Atlas ponders many intriguing topics, such as reincarnation, determinism, faith, metamorphosis, and the way people's lives in different eras combine and form history as we know it. While though-provoking and engaging, the film doesn't necessarily arrive at a conclusion that is satisfactory enough for the audiences.

Even though - through its most Hollywood-like ending - Cloud Atlas tries to answer all the question stated in its over-complicated mash-up of interconnected tales, the manner in which it philosophizes might sound too superficial at times. It's safe to say that the movie purposefully wants to drag the viewers into its prodigious, unfathomable universe with an especially incoherent storyline (still, connecting all the dots by oneself gives great amount of pleasure). Furthermore, it's a rather weighty mixture of genres, all wrapped up in a neat package of astounding visual effects and eye-popping landscapes.

Surprisingly, the same actors play unevenly in various segments, and the blame is on the directors' side (there is a distinction between the way all the parts are directed and it's significant to note that there is a visible difference in the filmmakers' styles). Cloud Atlas is an epic film, but in that case it's not a strong and authentic compliment. Its premise is undeniably enormous and smashing, but the substance calls for some sure rewrites.

In defense of the whole movie it's crucial to say that the book of the same name was named one of the most 'unfilmable' of all. By trying to play subconsciously on people's imagination, the picture invites us to an unknown world filled with artificial characters with too many plastic surgeries, and to a place where some stories seem too redundant and insignificant in the final evaluation. While ambitious, Cloud Atlas evaluates its themes briefly and arrives at a conclusion that's not to be grasped wholeheartedly.

Audition (1999)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Horrifying work of art, 2 November 2012
8/10

Audition definitely comes as one of the finest and most successful blends of promising romance and hard-hitting horror. The film builds up its seemingly straightforward story about love between two people and - when the right time comes - attacks the audiences with some of the most shocking images of sheer, graphic torture.

Takashi Miike created an uncontested masterpiece, making Audition an indisputably unnerving psychological thriller that astounds with its enormous attention to details not only in its romance-filled sensations, but - unfortunately for the squeamish viewers - also in its gruesome scenes of physical and emotional torment. While the blood-infested sequences last for only a couple of minutes, the most distressing part comes from the close-ups of Asami Yamazaki's face, showing this immense pleasure she takes from hurting another human being.

In the most ingenious and agitating way Audition shows how tremendously deceitful first appearances might actually be. While love is the returning theme of the picture, it's not as much about having feelings as it is about obsession, misunderstandings, and unrestrained mental abuse. Surprisingly, the most honest conversation that the two main characters have is in the final scene.

While the film will always remain as controversial as it's been on the day of it's worldwide premiere, it still proves to be a truly stylish and compelling work that is as close to true art as no horror has probably ever been.

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Terribly effective anime film, 27 October 2012
7/10

A haunting, hard-hitting animation about the problem of class struggle in South Korea and its disastrous connection to bullying. With its nightmarish art direction, it stimulates many radical emotions in the viewer, assaulting him with a most sombre tale of an atrocious past.

Two men struggling with domestic issues of their own meet after 15 years and reminisce about their extremely difficult school days. Their childhood was gradually being destroyed because of the ongoing, enormous and brutal pressure from the rich kids who ruled the school-grounds and often resolved to in-class violence. The fact that everybody around pretends that this horrible activity didn't even exist only made the whole issue worse and caused the richer kids to be even more confident of their impunity. The boys' last and only hope was their brave yet ferocious classmate Chul. He proved to be the only kid who wasn't afraid to stand up against the terror and tried to fight back using even more violence than his oppressors. Without any help from the outside the three friends came up with a most shocking plan - Chul will commit a public suicide. Without any hope for a brighter future they though of this extreme scheme as they only means to notifying the impassive adults about the horrible incidents that occur behind the school walls everyday.

Apart from evaluating the boys' decisions and presenting their differing viewpoints on the situation - and on what's about to happen - the film also reveals a grand mystery in its final act.

The plot is inspired by the director's dream, where his two friends decide to commit suicide as a revenge act for all the evil that's happened to them in the past.

The King of Pigs is a mightily dark and obscure anime, where horrible reality merges with confusing visions, only to deliver a stupendously convincing message to the Korean nation. Through the story of two men it shows that many childhood traumas have terrible lifelong effects. Memories are deceiving, but they play an important role in determining how people cope with their lives.

Misery and hopelessness, 27 October 2012
7/10

An ambitious yet deeply depressing picture directed by Fritz Lang shows the grievous consequences of one fatally misjudged trial case. It's a shocking representation of a life spiraling out of control due to a few horrible mistakes.

A small-time crook named Eddie is out of prison and marries his long-time love. Unable to find work he is constantly miserable and thinks that he left his wife down. On one day, a bank robbery takes place and Eddie is the prime suspect. Sentenced to death, he realizes that there is no other way of escaping his fate than resolving to violence. In the most climatic moment of the film a parole grant arrives at the prison warden's office. However - given the circumstances and his attempt to run away - mentally unstable Eddie doesn't believe the story. He kills the prison chaplain and becomes the real killer-on-the-loose. Along with his beautiful and loving wife and their newborn baby, he decides to run away out of the country and find peace somewhere far away.

You Only Live Once is a visually-striking depiction of one man's attempt at rescuing his own well-being from the disastrous effects of a faulty trail. Henry Fonda gives an incredibly convincing performance as the worn-out, antipathetic protagonist. Sylvia Sidney aspires to be a true Golden-Era star through her touching portrayal of an optimistic yet worried wife. With its sombre atmosphere and bitter feel of irrepressible hopelessness You Only Live Once marks Fritz Lang's rise to fame during his American period.

A groundbreaking film from Mervyn Leroy, 24 October 2012
9/10

Although 80 years have passed since the premiere of this film it still remains one of the most smashing, distressing and harrowing depictions of prison violence in history. The story of James Allen (brilliantly and believably played by the up-and-coming Paul Muni) is both a significant, not-so-typical cautionary tale and a brave statement against inane jail systems and covert human exploitation.

Upon his return home James - contrary to his family's requests - rejects the job offer from his earlier employer and decides to follow the dream of becoming a prominent architect. Unfortunately, the country's economic instability shows its true face when James rides around the country without any chances of finding real work. If this wasn't enough, one day he meets a shady character who invites him for a free burger at a nearby joint. Soon it becomes clear that this man is actually a small-time robber, and James is dragged into the whole intrigue with him, just to be found guilty with a proper trail and sentenced for 10 years on a chain gang. The enormous brutality and inhumane treatment of the prisoners make I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang a real punch-in-the-face. One day James finally finds a way of escaping from the nightmare and begins to re-live his life and finally fulfills his lifelong dream. While he soon becomes a master craftsman in the architectural industry, new problems arise thereafter. He is pressured into marrying his landlady - who happens to know his past - and when he begins to have feelings for another woman, she starts threatening his huge secret. Before long he is once again - this time voluntarily, due to his prior agreement with the prison chieftains - sentenced to hard work in the chain gang. Hoping for a one-month stay he endures another 10 years in the horrible, atrocious conditions.

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is a perfectly astounding expose of the unstable and literally bestial chain gang system. With its sinister ambiance and hard-hitting imagery, the film presents a grievous story of one innocent man's attempt at rescuing what's left of his already dilapidated life.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Effective and fast-paced sci-fi, 24 October 2012
8/10

Children of Men is undoubtedly one of the strongest science-fiction films of the last decade. The story - based on a thought-provoking novel by P.D. James - is very evenly paced and grips the viewer right from the very first minutes, promising a lot of intense action sequences. The movie's cinematography is perfectly moody and obscure, making the futuristic London look like a war-infested playground where no one feels safe anymore.

The film shows how - in difficult, brutal times of infertility - one man tries to save a miraculously pregnant woman from the omnipresent chaos. This man named Theo, firstly a typical bureaucratic non-believer, starts to follow his senses and begins to show his true nature as the bold and protective man on a dangerous mission, which might actually lead to the rebirth of mankind. The film follows closely all the events up to the climatic moment of an immigrant uprising and the thrilling battle for life and death.

The camera movement is greatly exhilarating, and makes the viewer feel as though he is right in the middle of the whole dangerous operation. The performances are believable - the actors we see on screen are able to denude all their deepest emotions, bravely exhibiting fear, angst, anxiousness, and eventually even faith in a forthcoming happy ending. Overall, Children of Men is a truly promising, intriguing, violent, full-bodied sci-fi worth watching.

Pursued (1947)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Robert Mitchum's darkest secret, 23 October 2012
8/10

It's an exceptionally thrilling and engaging mix of a typical western and a distressing noir film. Moreover, the psychological nature of the picture subconsciously insinuates a gut-wrenching proclamation of genuine Freudian theories.

Jeb - a temperamental loner living with an adoptive family - is haunted by some mysterious demons of the past. His only recollection of a horrible event that took place a long ago is an image of cowboy boots clanging dreadfully with flashy spurs. What's more, since he was little, Jeb wanted to introduce himself as an individual with a huge sense of his own identity, frustrating his loving yet secretive mother Ma. Time passes, and Jeb deepens the already burning feelings for his foster sister Thorley, and - at the same time - intensifies the hatred towards his brother Adam.

Mentally unstable, Jeb plunges even further into the self-conscious trauma when he kills a man - who threatened him earlier with fired shots - and discovers that the person was really his brother. Reviled by the society, pursued by a gang of vicious brutes and abandoned by his beloved wife-to-be, Jeb decides to stand against his biggest fears and unravel the dark secret that's been assaulting him for so many years.

Pursued is a perfectly intense and engaging film that borrows all that's best from many different genres. Robert Mitchum and Theresa Wright give incredibly ambiguous performances, adjusting to the general ambiance of the picture. Clever use of flashbacks, distorted black-and-white cinematography, and picturesque New Mexican imagery combine for an outstanding amount of disparate sensations.


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